Loss As A Wake-Up Call.
My parents were self-described Luddites. The last rotary phone in America lived at our house; when the device gave up the ghost, they purchased a push-button phone but kept the rotary service, so as you punched in a telephone number, you'd hear each digit being dutifully dialed.
They were a unit, as connected to one another as most of us are to our smartphones today.
Then my mother died. And my father's world tilted.
Late Life Lessons
Most of us learn to live independently when we're young. We move out of the house where we grew up and into our own place, either alone or with housemates, and "real life" begins.
But/and, these lessons can be equally instructive at the other end of the life spectrum. My dad went from living with his parents to living with his wife. Old age is his first experience of living solo. It's been an eye opener.
Within two months of my mom's passing, he was willing to take a look at the refurbished laptop my brother had been attempting to introduce into their lives for two years. Without his life mate, my father suddenly had a lot of time on his hands.
He quickly mastered email, then the search function. He began buying on Amazon. Describing his efforts to locate an arcane tax form, he cheerfully told me, "So I went online and downloaded the form…" I was tickled to hear him casually say, "downloaded," when a few years earlier he wouldn't have had the slightest idea what it meant.
Pushing the Envelope
His personal development extends beyond technology. My dad grew up in the generation of men who "couldn't boil water." Their wives took care of all their needs. One day when I phoned he told me, "I had an omelet for breakfast."
He sounded so delighted. Curious, I asked, "Did you go to the diner?" No, he replied, "I made it." How? "Trial and error!"
My dad does his own laundry now, and, while we've hired a housekeeper to handle the heavy cleaning, it's up to him to keep the place tidy the rest of the time.
He has a far deeper appreciation for my mother's role as homemaker: creating delicious daily meals for four, doing all the cleaning, laundry, and shopping, and attending to the myriad responsibilities involved in raising two kids from infancy to adulthood.
Although spirituality isn't part of his lexicon, living alone is definitely expanding his spiritual growth.
There are as many ways to awaken as there are people on the path. The call is typically unexpected and inconvenient. As one young woman grieving the loss of her marriage told me, "It's difficult, but I know if I go through this I'll have more empathy." Yes, I agreed. And wisdom.
When we embrace the call and welcome what's next, everything is possible.
Amara Rose is a guide for conscious evolution. She writes frequently about vital aging and all aspects of health/wellness. Discover more at LiveYourLight.com